Tech focus: Hyperspectral imaging

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A look at the market for hyperspectral imaging and some of the products and solutions available

Hyperspectral imaging is a technique used to analyse a wide spectrum of light instead of just assigning primary colours to each pixel. The light striking each pixel is broken down into many different spectral bands to provide more information on the subject of the image. 

There are three main types of spectral imaging techniques: spatial scanning uses push-broom scanners to read images over time; spectral scanning uses band sequential scanners to acquire images of an area at different wavelengths; and snapshot hyperspectral imaging, which uses a staring array to generate an image in an instant. 

Hyperspectral cameras don’t just record images, they acquire a complete optical spectrum for each image point. They are used in a number of different applications spanning aero, astronomy, agriculture, molecular biology, biomedical imaging, geosciences, physics and surveillance. In addition, non-destructive and non-invasive monitoring is making hyperspectral imaging popular among other commercial and industrial applications, such as food quality testing, identifying counterfeits and fake art, sorting recycled material, automotive dashboard cameras and more. This list is predicted to grow, with many startups now entering into service-oriented businesses based on hyperspectral imageries. 

In fact, according to the latest Hyperspectral Imaging – Market and Technology Forecast to 2030 report from ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global market for hyperspectral imaging will reach $49.4bn in 2030, up from $20bn in 2022. 

Photonics Solutions: Featured product

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a hyperspectral image is worth 1000 pictures

Spectrometers measure molecular spectra at one point on a sample, a hyperspectral image measures a spectra at every point in an image. The technique acquires both spectral and spatial data at the same time. 

Available through Photonic Solutions in the UK and Ireland, the SensIR system deploys Hyperspectral units in the 400 to 2,500nm range for mineral analysis of drill core, rock chips and other geological samples for mining, oil and gas applications. SensIR is extending the range to include the MWIR and Raman instruments. Raman produces complimentary features to FTIR spectra. Thanks to its high throughput design, providing scanning capabilities over a 2-inch span with integration time as low as 20 milliseconds, the SensIR Raman Hyperspectral scanner is able to capture real-time spectra not plagued by the background and water issues as seen in FTIR. These innovative systems are suitable for a wide range of applications. 

www.photonicsolutions.co.uk/company.php?comp=6866.php

 

Commercial products 

Admesy develops and builds measurement equipment for (inline) light, colour and spectral measurements. The product range consists of lightmeters, colorimeters, spectroradiometers, 2D spectral vision systems, and accessories. 

Andor Technology’s EMCCD technology is ideal for incorporation into an ultrasensitive spectral imaging set-up. The iXon3 EMCCD cameras contain imaging sensor formats, such as 512 x 512 or 1000 x 1000. These have been adapted for use in standard spectroscopic mode, performing extensive vertical binning along the vertical column dimension. More recently, the NewtonEM EMCCD camera was released. This USB 2.0, -90°C Thermoelectric (TE) cooled platform is available in either 1600 x 256 or 1600 x 128 pixel formats. 

Applied Spectral Imaging (ASI) aims to improve patient care with advanced biomedical imaging. It develops novel diagnostic solutions for the clinical and research communities. The company’s products are powered by GenASIs, its core technology. Combining image acquisition with computer-assisted analysis, the systems enable laboratories to provide advanced diagnostics to patients, grounded on powerful algorithms and customer focused software. ASI’s portfolio of solutions for brightfield, fluorescence and spectral imaging and analysis includes HiPath Pro, PathFusion, HiBand, HiFISH, CytoPower and Rainbow. BaySpec builds hyperspectral sensors and processing systems for a vast array of potential and theoretical applications, including astronomy, agriculture and molecular biology. Its product range includes desktop, handheld and airborne cameras spanning VIS-NIR or SWIR wavelengths. 

ChemImage’s range of molecular chemical imaging products is powered by its imaging software, which is designed to offer precise instrument control and visualisation for near-real-time data collection and analysis. The software, ChemImage Xpert, supports hyperspectral imaging from the ground up. 

Corning Hyperspectral Imaging provides hyperspectral sensors and full hyperspectral systems for applications including precision agriculture, industrial, environmental monitoring, mining and mineralogy. The microHSI family of hyperspectral sensors and systems combines low size, weight and power with uncompromising performance. 

Cubert offers a range of hyperspectral video spectrometers designed to capture full cubes of continuous spectra in less than a millisecond. The company’s most recent launch is its smallest hyperspectral imaging camera at a price point designed to compete against RGB and multispectral cameras. The company created a hyperspectral video camera featuring a 5 MP sensor that is 30x30x50mm and weighs 120g. 

Haip Solutions’s user-oriented hyperspectral imaging (HSI) products are used in plant breeding, agriculture and forestry, food, recycling and geology. The BlackBullet VNIR Sensor is the base model for a range of applications, such as UAVs, field and lab measurements on tripods or mounted on scanning rail systems. Based on a hyperspectral linescanner, the BlackBird camera is designed for integration with DJI drones from Matrice 200 & 300 series. With hyperspectral & RGB-sensor combination, BlackBox is an intelligent imaging system for laboratories, research, and industry. BlackMobile is a handheld visible and near-infrared hyperspectral imaging camera, while the BlackIndustry VNIR Sensor is a smart line scanning (push-broom) visible and near-infrared hyperspectral imaging camera that allows the acquisition of real-time spectral data with very high spatial resolution. 

Headwall Photonics is a US designer and manufacturer of high-performance hyperspectral imaging systems, spectral instrumentation and optical components used in a variety of applications, such as remote sensing, space and earth monitoring. The company offers holographic diffraction gratings, custom OEM spectrometers and sensors, as well as fully integrated hardware/software hyperspectral imaging systems. 

Ideal for hyperspectral imaging, the SuperK FIANIUM broadband white light lasers from NKT Photonics allow for a picosecond pulse source at any wavelength in the visible and near-infrared spectrum. Combining this with the SuperK VARIA tunable filter turns the SuperK supercontinuum laser into a powerful single-line laser with a 440 nm tuning range and variable bandwidth. The centre wavelength of the pass band can be tuned anywhere between 400 and 840 nm and the bandwidths are variable between 10 and 100 nm. 

PerkinElmer manufactures and sells liquid crystal tunable filters (LCTFs) for VIS and NIR multispectral and hyperspectral imaging. Pro-Lite supplies advanced hyperspectral, multispectral and infrared imaging systems. Supplier partners include Cubert (real-time, ‘snapshot’ imagers for 355-1000nm), NEO (HySpex ‘push-broom’ hyperspectral line-scan imagers, 400-2500nm) and Photon etc (hyperspectral luminescence & Raman microscopy, IR imagers and tunable filters and sources). 

Resonon provides both complete hyperspectral imaging systems for laboratory, outdoor and airborne remote sensing applications, as well as custom hyperspectral machine vision solutions for total magnification. The hyperspectral cameras have low stray light, low optical distortions and provide high imaging quality. 

SensIR’s range of hyperspectral imaging solutions are designed to deliver high-performance hyperspectral imaging solutions. The company produces OEM modules for VNIR, SWIR and MWIR applications, Raman spectral imagers, and full turnkey solutions for mineral analysis. 

Specim is a global supplier when it comes to hyperspectral imaging. Its products are used by OEM customers in machine vision systems, inspecting food or pharmaceutics production quality, sorting waste, or measuring printed colour accuracy, as well as research labs. They are installed and operated in drones and large-scale remote sensing aeroplanes. 

The Stuttgart Instruments Alpha system is a modular, wavelength-tunable laser covering the 700nm to 20µm spectral range. It provides ultrafast pulses at MHz repetition rates and milliwatt- to watt-level power. Due to its passive long-term stability, performance at the shot-noise limit and broad spectral range, it is ideally suited for sensitive IR applications. The Alpha system can be optimised, depending on the application. Its basic version is tunable from 1.35 to 4.5µm, but can be upgraded to higher power, to the VIS (700-980 nm), the NIR (1.1-1.4 µm) and the MIR range (4.5-20µm). Each module is field upgradable, and the entire system is fully automated and controlled via a user-friendly GUI. 

Surface Optics Corporation (SOC) is well known in the design and manufacture of hyperspectral and multispectral imagers, operating from the ultraviolet through infrared spectral regions. SOC’s patented real time imagers provide the ability to perform matched filtering and designation of a number of in-scene targets as a scene is imaged. Its imagersare used by the military and aerospace industry, universities, research laboratories, and commercial entities. Telops is a supplier of high-performance scientific IR cameras and hyperspectral imagers for the defence, industrial, and academic research industries. The company also offers R&D services for optical system technology development. 

This is not an exhaustive list. If you provide products or solutions for hyperspectral imaging and would like to be included, please let us know at editor.electro@europascience.com 

3D printed Fresnel lens combining diffractive elements with refractive surfaces. Credit: Nanoscribe

29 June 2022